One of the most fun experiences I’ve had while working for Tenable has been the annual company-sponsored hackathon event, INIT. At this two-day event, Tenable Research and Development (R&D) professionals from around the world gather in one location to work on project teams relating to development, product management, design and technical writing, discussing ideas for new products and features and improving existing products and features. These projects are brought to life through the creation of working code or proof of concept prototypes. In addition, there is an option to work on internal tooling to improve the workflow that helps get our products out the door. The most recent INIT offered a game of capture the flag, which had very high attendance, including representation from most areas across the R&D teams by some who rarely, if ever, write any code.
Tenable is very generous in the setup of this event and includes a good deal of fun, food, and drinks in the program. In the three years I have attended INIT, the event has been at fantastic venues, twice at the Gaylord Resort in Orlando and once at the Gaylord Resort in Dallas. The night prior to kickoff is an opportunity to socialize with coworkers with whom you might otherwise only interact in virtual meetings, as well as the opportunity to get to know people from areas of the organization with whom you might not ever interact in their day-to-day role. Some events I have had the good fortune to participate in include: a Disney World scavenger hunt; a rodeo with dinner, drinks (bourbon and whiskey tasting!), games, electronic bull riding (I did not ride the bull but those who did will never live that down); and, at the most recent event, a night of fun at Disney World where we could explore the park at our own pace and enjoy food and drinks. In addition, teams usually get together for dinner each night and get to know one another in a social setting. There’s a lot of food and drinks at INIT!
Throughout the event, teams are remarkably focused and driven to create the most valuable, well-crafted products to present to some of the most senior-level executives at Tenable. The most recent INIT adopted a science fair format so all teams could move around the room to get an introduction to what other teams had worked on over the course of the event. I find that each year I learn something interesting and new about our products. This very social, collaborative event is an experience that I look forward to participating in every year.
Jennifer Kania | Senior User Experience (UX) Analyst